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Dancing as a Second Language
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Ethnic Dance Chicago: Dance As a Second Language
2008 Fall Ball/Chicago World Music Festival on Bulgarian TV - EDC - October 31, 2008 - Bulgarian TV Logo 
filmed by Maria Ilieva (Mutzuna)

On Friday, September 9, 2008, Ethnic Dance Chicago and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs sponsored opening night of the ChicagoWorld Music Festival and the Chicagoland Fall Bal . This live music event featured two excellent dance bands - Kabile Bitov Ensemble (Bulgarian) and the Richard Hagopian Kef Time Band (Armenian).

Maria Ilieva (Mutzuna), who co-operates with Bulgarian National TV attended and shot a video which was edited and shown on Bulgarian National Television.

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Kabile Bitov Ensemble (Bulgarian):
Kabile is a bitov (traditional wedding) band formed in 1978. Based in the village of Kabile, near Yambol, the group specialized in performing native music on traditional village instruments, resulting in an acoustic experience quite different from that played on Western instruments influenced by American jazz. This form of Bulgarian wedding music has attracted worldwide attention and scholarship for its incredible virtuosity and musicianship. The band plays all the instruments of a traditional Bulgarian village band. The gaida is a bagpipe made of goat skin and pipes. The tapan is a large wooden drum covered with sheep or goat skin and played with two specially designed drumming sticks: the kukuda is a pipe-shaped stick of walnut and the pracka is a thin switch, usually made of dogwood or willow. The kaval is a flute-like instrument open at both ends, played by blowing on the smaller, sharpened end. The gadulka is a pear-shaped string instrument, played vertically in front of the musician. These four instruments have a centuries-old history in Bulgarian folk music; as a "modern" addition, the band also includes the accordion.

Richard Hagopian Kef Time Band (Armenian):
Richard Hagopian was born in Fowler, California in 1937. At an early age, he became interested in music and was known for his dancing ability at various Armenian functions. At age 9, he began studying the violin; at age 10, the clarinet; and at age 11, the oud. which has 11 strings, five in pairs that are tuned in unison. Like the violin, the oud has no frets. Its sound resembles a 12-string guitar. At 13, by invitation kanoonist, Kamuni Garbis Bakirgian, Richard started studying eastern music theory, notation and also the oud. By 1969, Richard was conferred the title "Oudi" meaning Master or Doctor from the internationally-acclaimed oud virtuoso Oudi Hrant, a blind artist and master of the instrument. Richard has toured the U.S. performing oud on many famous stages at well-known festivals, clubs, and theatres. Today, Richard lives in the San Joaquin Valley City of Visalia, where he may be found running his Armenian deli. Past honors include the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was the first person of Armenian heritage to receive this award. To date, he has produced 7 albums of Armenian music. Most are for sale at his Visalia deli and carry titles that include the word "kef," a Middle Eastern word meaning "party time or good time."

Ethnic Dance Chicago:
Ethnic Dance Chicago (EDC) is a multi-ethnic group of people of all ages who enjoy dance and music of many countries from around the world.  You might say the participants think of "Dancing As A Second Language".   ethnic Folk Dancing is a great social mixer and an aerobic workout of which personal trainers would approve. EDC meets most every Friday and welcomes new participants:


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